Labour must fix covid’s negative impact on children
The Covid pandemic negatively affected children’s reading skills and widened the gap between pupils, Wales’ school’s watchdog has said
Commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Education Laura Anne Jones MS said:
“Labour have already taken more school days away from Welsh children than anywhere else in the UK with their harsher lockdowns and these affects are starting to show. There has been an education gap growing here in Wales, we are moving further and further in the wrong direction, as evidenced in today’s news. Covid has widened that gap, and something must be done urgently before it is too late and a generation of children are lost to Labour’s inaction.
“The Labour Government have consistently failed to close the attainment gap in our schools. Labour have the levers of power in their hands, but repeatedly make the wrong political choices. They can and should properly fund education in Wales, targeting resources to those areas where the attainment gap is greatest. They can start by reversing their recent decision to cut education spending in real terms.”
Owen Evans, Chief Inspector Estyn
‘Improving pupils’ reading skills is a national priority. Although the pandemic had a negative impact, especially on those disadvantaged by poverty, we’re seeing that standards of reading are improving again. Schools that have identified specific skills deficits and are focused on filling these gaps are making the best progress.
‘Our findings shows that the best teachers weave listening, speaking, reading and writing together skilfully so that each benefits the others.
‘We recommend that school leaders, supported by their clusters and improvement partners, provide opportunities for staff to learn about evidence-based teaching strategies to develop pupils’ reading skills across the curriculum.’